Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 02, 2015, 03:26:21 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
87272 Posts in 2281 Topics by 1069 Members
Latest Member: ctelerant
* Home Help Search Login Register
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 676
201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, religion, ethnic origin, LGBT, "discrimination", & discrimination. on: July 09, 2015, 04:58:27 PM
http://soopermexican.com/2015/07/07/black-people-are-now-vandalizing-confederate-flags-displayed-anywhere/
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: July 09, 2015, 08:49:32 AM
The Iranian Nuclear Paradox
Once an agreement is reached, a U.S.-Iran confrontation becomes more likely, more quickly.
By Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz
July 8, 2015 7:25 p.m. ET


The lines are clearly drawn in Washington on President Obama’s plan for a nuclear deal with Iran. As negotiations for a final agreement continue well past their June 30 deadline, most Republicans oppose the deal and Democrats will not block it.

Many critics claim to believe that a “good deal,” which would permanently dismantle the clerical regime’s capacity to construct nuclear weapons, is still possible if Mr. Obama would augment diplomacy with the threat of more sanctions and the use of force. Although these critics accurately highlight the framework’s serious faults, they also make a mistake: More sanctions and threats of military raids now are unlikely to thwart the mullahs’ nuclear designs. We will never know whether more crippling sanctions and force could have cracked the clerical regime. We do know that the president sought the opposite path even before American and Iranian diplomats began negotiating in Europe.

But hawks who believe that airstrikes are the only possible option for stopping an Iranian nuke should welcome a deal perhaps more than anyone. This is because the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is tailor-made to set Washington on a collision course with Tehran. The plan leaves the Islamic Republic as a threshold nuclear-weapons state and in the short-term insulates the mullahs’ regional behavior from serious American reproach.

To imagine such a deal working is to imagine the Islamic Republic without its revolutionary faith. So Mr. Obama’s deal-making is in effect establishing the necessary conditions for military action after January 2017, when a new president takes office.

No American president would destroy Iranian nuclear sites without first exhausting diplomacy. The efforts by Mr. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to compromise with Tehran—on uranium enrichment, verification and sanctions relief, among other concerns—are comprehensive, if nothing else. If the next president chose to strike after the Iranians stonewalled or repeatedly violated Mr. Obama’s agreement, however, the newcomer would be on much firmer political ground, at home and abroad, than if he tried without this failed accord.

Without a deal the past will probably repeat itself: Washington will incrementally increase sanctions while the Iranians incrementally advance their nuclear capabilities. Without a deal, diplomacy won’t die. Episodically it has continued since an Iranian opposition group revealed in 2002 the then-clandestine nuclear program. Via this meandering diplomatic route, Tehran has gotten the West to accept its nuclear progress.

Critics of the president who suggest that a much better agreement is within reach with more sanctions are making the same analytical error as Mr. Obama: They both assume that the Iranian regime will give priority to economics over religious ideology. The president wants to believe that Iran’s “supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hasan Rouhani can be weaned from the bomb through commerce; equally war-weary sanctions enthusiasts fervently hope that economic pain alone can force the mullahs to set aside their faith. In their minds Iran is a nation that the U.S., or even Israel, can intimidate and contain.

The problem is that the Islamic Republic remains, as Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif proudly acknowledges in his memoirs, a revolutionary Islamic movement. Such a regime by definition would never bend to America’s economic coercion and never gut the nuclear centerpiece of its military planning for 30 years and allow Westerners full and transparent access to its nuclear secrets and personnel. This is the revolutionary Islamic state that is replicating versions of the militant Lebanese Hezbollah among the Arab Shiites, ever fearful at home of seditious Western culture and prepared to use terrorism abroad.

Above all, the clerical regime cannot be understood without appreciating the centrality of anti-Americanism to its religious identity. The election of a Republican administration might reinvigorate Iranian fear of American military power, as the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 did for a year or two. But it did not stop Iran’s nuclear march, and there is no reason to believe now that Mr. Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who oversee the nuclear program, will betray all that they hold holy.

But a nuclear deal is not going to prevent conflict either. The presidency of the so-called pragmatic mullah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from 1989 to 1997 was an aggressive period of Iranian terrorism. If President Rouhani, Mr. Rafsanjani’s former right-hand man, can pull off a nuclear agreement, we are likely to see a variation of the 1990s Iranian aggression.

Such aggression has already begun. Revolutionary Guards are fighting in Syria and Iraq, and Iranian aid flows to the Shiite Houthis in Yemen. Wherever the Islamic Republic’s influence grows among Arab Shiites, Sunni-Shiite conflict grows worse. With greater internecine Muslim hostility, the clerical regime inevitably intensifies its anti-American propaganda and actions in an effort to compete with radical Sunnis and their competing claims to lead an anti-Western Muslim world.

Iranian adventurism, especially if it includes anti-American terrorism, will eventually provoke a more muscular U.S. response. The odds of Tehran respecting any nuclear deal while it pushes to increase its regional influence—unchecked by Washington—aren’t good.Mr. Obama may think he can snap back sanctions and a united Western front to counter nefarious Iranian nuclear behavior, but the odds aren’t good once European businesses start returning to the Islamic Republic. Washington has a weak track record of using extraterritorial sanctions against our richest and closest allies and trading partners. The French alone may join the Americans again to curtail Iran and European profits.

With a failed deal, no plausible peaceful alternatives, and Mr. Obama no longer in office, Republicans and Democrats can then debate, more seriously than before, whether military force remains an option. Odds are it will not be. When contemplating the possibility that preventive military strikes against the clerical regime won’t be a one-time affair, even a hawkish Republican president may well default to containment. But if Washington does strike, it will be because Mr. Obama showed that peaceful means don’t work against the clerics’ nuclear and regional ambitions.

Mr. Gerecht, a former Iranian-targets officer in the Central Intelligence Agency’s clandestine service, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Dubowitz is the foundation’s executive director and heads its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance.
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Stem cells to regenerate teeth on: July 09, 2015, 08:35:18 AM
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-05/new-technique-uses-bodys-stem-cells-regenerate-teeth
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina on: July 09, 2015, 12:29:38 AM
I can picture her being a really good VP candidate who would give Hillary hissy fits.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina on: July 08, 2015, 09:09:39 PM
Note:  one month old.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5e7rsS__Bg&feature=youtu.be
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / SERIOUS READ: Gilder calls for a return to the Gold Standard on: July 08, 2015, 09:03:55 PM
https://americanprinciplesproject.org/wp-content/uploads/Gilder.pdf
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 08, 2015, 04:16:57 PM
Very interesting , , ,

Bernie Hogties Hillary
By DICK MORRIS
Published on TheHill.com on July 7, 2015
With Bernie Sanders creeping up on Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential nomination -- closing to within 8 points in New Hampshire and holding her to 52 percent in Iowa -- the new and unanticipated threat he poses presents an important challenge to the former secretary of State. Unfortunately for her, she has no good choices.

Her current strategy of ignoring Sanders has failed abysmally. While she has been hiding from the media and avoiding questions about her emails, Sidney Blumenthal and Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and her speaking fees, the Vermont senator has been catalyzing the left base with bold proposals. His advocacy of a reduced retirement age, a confiscatory top bracket on the income tax, a single-payer socialized medicine system and a $15 minimum wage, as well as opposition to free trade, have all generated an enthusiasm among liberals that has totally stolen the thunder of the first serious chance at a female president.

The humble act has failed. Clinton's listening tour has accomplished nothing. Carrying her own baggage, flying coach and driving to Iowa are all being dismissed as the gimmicks they are.

So how can Hillary Clinton counter the rise of Bernie Sanders?

She can't attack him without giving him more credibility than he has. All hope of dismissing him as an also-ran would evaporate when she mentions his name. Indeed, the more he appears as a harmless protest vote against the party establishment in general and the Clintons in particular, the easier it is to back him in the primary.

She can't attack his issue positions without alienating a big part of her base. Sanders, even without much polling, has identified new hot buttons to elicit a strong response from liberals. She doesn't dare oppose this new agenda for the left. She can move to the center once she has the nomination in hand, but not now.

Nor can she attack Sanders personally or go after his record. First, many liberals support him when he has strayed to the left, and second, she cannot give him the legitimacy of criticizing him. Personal attacks, such as on his sexual fantasies and writings of 40 years ago, look strained and artificial and like the product of an overly active negative researcher.

Her most likely approach is to say that Sanders can't win, raising fears among Democrats that he might steal the party's chances for victory. Just as the Clintons and the Kennedys torpedoed Howard Dean's candidacy in 2004 after he surged in the wake of his approval of a gay marriage bill in Vermont, so Hillary's people will warn of disaster if Bernie is nominated.

In a sense, Clinton will abandon the strategy of ignoring Sanders and try to fast-forward the campaign to a Sanders victory, warning of the consequences -- just as the Clintons did with Dean.

The problem is, Clinton can't know how the rebound off Sanders would carom. In a simple two-way zero-sum race between the two, his negatives are her positives. Perhaps her other opponents for the nomination, like former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, might be able to capitalize, however.

But what could paralyze Clinton is the prospect of Joe Biden entering the race. If the vice president makes it a three-way contest, her shots at Sanders will likely push votes to Biden. If the rap is Sanders can't win, what is the logic that says doubts about his electability will cause voters who once supported Clinton and have since abandoned her to move back to her? If Sanders can't win because he's too liberal, what makes anyone feel that Clinton can overcome her various scandals, particularly voters who themselves have dropped her precisely because of those scandals?

Clinton is stuck. And the more she appears to be stuck in the dilemma of how to handle Sanders, the greater is the likelihood that Biden jumps in.

If Biden does run, how does Clinton attack him without pulling President Obama into the debate as collateral damage? How can she go after the vice president without her attacks reflecting ill on the sitting and, among Democrats, wildly popular president?

Clinton's in a tough spot.
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / S. Williams on Marriage 1794 on: July 08, 2015, 02:01:15 PM
second post of the day

"Every thing useful and beneficial to man, seems to be connected with obedience to the laws of his nature, the inclinations, the duties, and the happiness of individuals, resolve themselves into customs and habits, favourable, in the highest degree, to society. In no case is this more apparent, than in the customs of nations respecting marriage." --Samuel Williams (1794)
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: July 08, 2015, 01:52:24 PM
https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/07/07/meet-the-democrats-who-can-make-or-break-obamas-nuclear-deal/
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DEm Congresswoman's felon husband heads up big non-profit on: July 08, 2015, 12:55:38 PM
http://freebeacon.com/politics/democratic-congresswomans-convicted-felon-spouse-heading-progressive-financed-non-profit-2/
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The American Creed: Our Founding Fathers: on: July 08, 2015, 12:19:56 PM
"History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people." —Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations, 1774
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Forfeiture strikes again on: July 08, 2015, 12:14:43 PM
http://reason.com/blog/2015/07/07/dea-steals-44000-from-nail-salon-owner-a#.he6obh:USrt
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / WAshington Redskin logo loses in court on: July 08, 2015, 12:08:36 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/judge-upholds-cancellation-of-redskins-trademarks-in-a-legal-and-symbolic-setback-for-team/2015/07/08/5a65424e-1e6e-11e5-aeb9-a411a84c9d55_story.html?tid=sm_fb
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Kansas Gov's exec order on: July 08, 2015, 09:10:58 AM
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/07/07/1400155/-Sam-Brownback-R-KS-Signs-Sweeping-Anti-LGBT-Executive-Order?detail=facebook#
215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Photoshopped foto of Hillary with Confederate flag. on: July 08, 2015, 08:44:10 AM
http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/jul/07/dinesh-dsouza/hillary-clinton-confederate-battle-flag-nope-old-i/
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Jefferson 1816; the proper limits of power on: July 07, 2015, 05:03:07 PM
"Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us." —Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Francis W. Gilmer, 1816
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / How Anole's find their way home on: July 07, 2015, 09:54:27 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/science/mystery-of-the-lizards-that-know-the-way-home.html?emc=edit_th_20150707&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193&_r=0
218  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Steven Seagal on: July 07, 2015, 09:47:02 AM
https://www.facebook.com/MixedMartialArts/videos/vb.50312224788/10153465750569789/?type=2&theater
219  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: La Belleza de la Mujer on: July 07, 2015, 09:22:28 AM
https://www.facebook.com/sitecifras/videos/827059500667748/
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Another fake Native American activist on: July 07, 2015, 09:14:32 AM
http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/06/top-american-indian-scholar-outed-as-fake-indian/
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Biden on: July 06, 2015, 10:52:43 PM
http://www.dickmorris.com/will-biden-be-obamas-candidate-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Sen. Baldwin: First Amendment does not apply to individuals on: July 06, 2015, 10:41:07 PM
http://mediatrackers.org/wisconsin/2015/07/02/sen-baldwin-1st-amendment-doesnt-apply-individuals
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Christian Bakers fined $135K and ordered to shut up. on: July 06, 2015, 10:38:40 PM
http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2015/July/Christian-Bakers-Fined-Gagged-in-Gay-Cake-Case/?cpid=:ID:-2638-:DT:-2015-07-05-20:10:27-:US:-AB1-:CN:-CP1-:PO:-NC1-:ME:-SU1-:SO:-FB1-:SP:-NW1-:PF:-IM1-
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / It depends on what the definition of "deported" is , , , on: July 06, 2015, 10:54:14 AM
http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/barack-obama-is-a-liar-he-deports-900000-illegal-aliens-they-never-leave-the-u-s/
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary's servers subject to federal seizure on: July 05, 2015, 02:15:35 PM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/1/state-dept-admits-dozens-hillary-clintons-emails-c/
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / True Detectve Season 2 and the CA High Speed Line on: July 05, 2015, 12:07:19 AM
 
 

 
 

 
 



 
 

 

July 02, 2015
 



 

 
    Morning Jolt
   

... with Jim Geraghty
   

 
   


    It Takes a True Detective to Understand California’s High-Speed Rail Plans

Enjoy the Independence Day weekend, folks! NR offices are closed Friday, so this is the last Jolt of the week.
 
The best part of the new season of True Detective on HBO is that one of the major plot points is sleazy, mob-connected businessmen talking about federal funding for California’s high-speed rail project as a giant way to line their pockets.
Vince Vaughn plays a ruthless, ambitious mob-connected businessman who yearns to be a legitimate, respected mogul. In the opening episode, he’s at a giant party-unveiling for the project. One of his partners, a corrupt official in the fictional city of Vinci, California, just outside Los Angeles, hasn’t arrived on the meeting -- on account of his recent murder -- and Vaughn’s character sums up the pending deal for the guests:
Our city manager Ben Caspere was going to be here to explain this, but I suppose I can approximate the information.
So everybody knows Proposition 1 has passed.
And next year construction will start on a $68 billion high-speed rail up Central California.
An undeveloped valley adjacent to the rail and the coastal highway has been purchased by several holding companies anticipating a commercial development that will be in line for hundreds of millions in federal grants.
And the feds have guaranteed cost overages.
 
Have we seen ever seen a movie or television show bad guy whose plans involve a high-speed rail project before? Can you believe that HBO is portraying Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature legacy project in such a negative light?
Later, in a meeting with a more menacing, Eastern European gangster, Vaughn’s character declares,
[The city of] Vinci tapped fed money from the subway line, and the same thing will happen on a much, much bigger scale with the rail corridor. Owned by our holding companies.
In real life, the first segment of the initial rail line, running from Madera to Bakersfield, will cost $6 billion, consisting of $3.3 billion in federal funding and $2.6 billion in Proposition 1A bond proceeds. The California High-Speed Rail Authority declares, “Development of the [initial operating system] will be funded through government sources, while private-sector capital will fund future construction segments once the system is generating positive cash flow.”
In June 2013, the California High-Speed Rail Authority awarded the first contract -- nearly $1 billion. Construction began in the middle of last month.
Some California Republicans and a few Democrats are attempting to stop the project from going any further, arguing it has changed completely from its initial proposal and there’s no reason to expect anything other than more delays, cost overruns, and legal fights:
State Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, has introduced bipartisan legislation to allow California voters to reconsider the state's controversial high-speed rail project.
Vidak's measure would allow voters to weigh in on whether they want to continue funding the $68 billion project. It would also forbid any more spending on the project until a vote on June 6, 2016. The bill would redirect the unspent money toward road repair and construction.
Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, is co-sponsoring the bill.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority's pursuit of eminent domain land takings on the proposed alignment through Kings County has generated strong opposition and lawsuits from local residents and county government.
The authority is trying to drum up interest from the private sector for the project, but has so far failed to get private investment to help make up a financing shortfall of tens of billions of dollars.
And Republicans in Congress are making an attempt as well:
Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, of Turlock, has tried twice before to defund high-speed rail with an amendment, but he's not giving up.
On Tuesday night Denham spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives and declared, “I'm here one more year offering an amendment to end this incredible waste of taxpayer dollars.”
Denham's amendment forces the California High Speed Rail Authority to prove it can independently match nearly $3 billion in federal funds -- or potentially lose that money.
On Wednesday Denham said he doesn't believe that California can afford it.
“We are $87 billion short,' Denham said. “The governor's not proposing $87 billion. The president's not proposing $87 billion. So, we're really leaving the state of California at risk.”
Records show the project has spent nearly $900 million so far.
The city in the show, Vinci, appears to be inspired by real-life Vernon, California:
Only 92 people live in Vernon. There are no parks, schools, libraries, health clinics or grocery stores. The only four restaurants close by 4 p.m. By sundown the 44,000 workers who commute here have all fled the stench.
Vernon’s leaders like it that way. California’s tiniest city, if you want to call it a city, is one of the nation’s most lasting and efficient political machines, run almost entirely for the benefit of a handful of rarely opposed, extremely well-paid politicians. Vernon should have been subsumed long ago into the surrounding city of L.A, but its independence is a strange and stark example of how a democracy can become a dynasty.
The bespectacled Leonis C. Malburg, 77, whose grandfather founded Vernon in 1905, has been mayor for 33 years. Bruce Malkenhorst, 71, was for 32 years the city administrator as well as clerk, finance director, treasurer, redevelopment agency secretary and chief executive of the utility Vernon Light & Power. The city was reportedly paying him $600,000 a year, more than twice what L.A.’s mayor earns, until he resigned all posts unexpectedly and without public announcement in 2005. By most accounts Malkenhorst still pulls the strings. His appointed successor is his 42-year-old son, Bruce Jr.
Theirs is a benign dictatorship. Who would run against them? Outsiders hoping to move into town are denied housing permits and Vernon’s 32 houses and apartments are owned by the city and leased to its employees for as little as $150 per month.
What’s more, there were no contested elections in Vernon from 1984 to 2006.
On the show, the sleazy mayor of Vinci has a picture of himself with President George W. Bush in the background. In real life Vernon, 69 percent of the city’s voters are registered Democrat, 28 percent Republican. And you probably saw this coming:
A slick two-minute advertisement promoting Vernon as a bastion of blue-collar employment will be shown in theaters in working-class neighborhoods with the opening of a new movie, “Battle: Los Angeles.” The commercial follows a $65,000-a-week television advertising campaign that began last week. The ads were produced by Chris Lehane, a notoriously tough operative who worked as a senior adviser to Al Gore, and who is at the center of this campaign.
 
The Important Policy Point Lost in the Trump Controversy
The boss writes a column in Politico with some important points about immigration:
Trump’s comments made it sound as though Mexico is sending us moral defectives. That’s not the larger problem (although gangs certainly exploit the border and there are criminals in any population). Immigrants are willing to work. Immigrant men aged 18-65 are in the labor force at a higher rate than native men.
It’s just that a lack of education is an anchor around even the hardest-working person in modern America. This is illustrated in an exhaustive report based on government data, by Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors a lower level of immigration. I rely on it for the figures that follow.
Immigrants here from Mexico -- which has sent more immigrants than any other country for decades -- have the lowest levels of education. Nearly 60 percent of them haven’t graduated from high school. Only about 10 percent have some college and nearly 6 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
By way of comparison, the situation of immigrants from Korea, for instance, is almost exactly reversed. More than 50 percent of them have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and less than 4 percent failed to earn a high school diploma.
This puts Mexican immigrants at an inherent disadvantage, and it shows. Nearly 35 percent of immigrants from Mexico and their U.S.-born children are in poverty; nearly 68 percent are in or near poverty. This is the highest level for immigrants from any country (the Philippines is the lowest, with 5.5 percent in poverty).
But it’s so much easier to debate whether Trump is a racist or not, or whether we like Trump or not.
 
Meet the Guy Running Greece Into the Ground
Man, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is a bad guy:
Depositors were persuaded to keep their money in the banks by daily assurance for five months that a deal was imminent. In fact, for most of that time, no negotiations of any substance took place at all. Mr. Tsipras strung out the process with endless discussions over what the creditors should be called, where the talks should be held and who should talk to whom.
At the last minute, he submitted proposals that never stood any chance of being accepted, but which have allowed him to claim it was the creditors who were being unreasonable. Now with the bailout expired, the banks closed and the country in default, he has called a referendum asking voters to reject a deal that is no longer on the table.
Or . . . it’s possible he’s crazy:
Mr. Tsipras continues to insist that a “No” vote won’t lead to Grexit but will strengthen his hand with the creditors.
(“Grexit” is the cutesy term for Greece leaving the Euro.)
No policy maker anywhere else in the eurozone thinks this is true. The relationship between Mr. Tsipras and other eurozone leaders has broken down so irretrievably that it is hard to see how they can possibly agree on new loans for Greece while he remains in power. Instead, a “No” vote would force the European Central Bank swiftly to conclude that the Greek banking system, which relies heavily on government guarantees, was insolvent, perhaps as soon as Monday. The banks would be forced to close and couldn’t be reopened until they had been recapitalized, either via a bailing in of depositors, or using a newly-printed currency.
Or both!
As bad as Tsipiras is, he reflects the thinking of a considerable number of Greeks. Don’t feel that bad for the Greek people; they made this bed.
Under the old rules, an unmarried daughter used to receive her dead father's pension…
In 2013, Greece's retirement age was raised by two years to 67. According to government data, however, the average Greek man retires at 63 and the average woman at 59.
And some police and military workers have retired as early as age 40 or 45, Tsoukas said.
There are also unique benefits for some workers. Female employees of state-owned banks with children under 18 could retire as early 43, he said.
The Greek state doesn’t have the money to finance the early retirements of that many people and pay unemployment benefits to 25 percent of the population.
ADDENDA: I had missed this earlier; a member of the richest one percent -- Beyonce -- pouring a $20,000 bottle of champagne into her hot tub.
It’s her money; she can do what she likes with it. But the next time some snotty liberal denounces American culture for empty materialism and “conspicuous consumption,” I hope they remember some of the president’s friends. You can hear it now, right? “Well, I meant that rich people ostentatiously showcasing their wealth is a problem when people that I don’t like do it.”
I’m scheduled to appear on MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz this Sunday.
I’m told there’s been a nice little pop in sales for The Weed Agency since summer began. To everyone who’s been buying, thank you very much.
   

227  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Guro Dan Inosanto w Anderson Silva on: July 04, 2015, 10:35:10 PM
https://www.facebook.com/spideranderson/videos/1003204106366828/
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / That's curious , , , on: July 04, 2015, 02:07:11 PM
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/03/mitt-romney-hosting-two-rival-gop-presidential-contenders-for-holiday-sleepover/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Firewire&utm_campaign=Firewire%20-%20HORIZON%207-4-15%20FINAL
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Middle Estern Journalists begin to speak out. on: July 04, 2015, 01:39:00 PM
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/02/middle-eastern-journalists-push-muslims-to-acknowledge-that-terrorism-is-connected-to-islam/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Firewire&utm_campaign=Firewire%20-%20HORIZON%207-2-15%20FINAL
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krauthammer on Obama's deal with Iran on: July 04, 2015, 01:25:59 PM
third post:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/420707/iran-nuclear-deal-obama-sanctions-inspections-capitulates?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Jolt&utm_campaign=Best%20of%207%2F4
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / EMP issues on: July 03, 2015, 04:46:32 PM
second post


http://www.foxnews.com/.../emps-how-to-detect-blast-that.../

http://pamelageller.com/.../iran-endorses-nuclear-emp.../

http://spectrum.ieee.org/.../electromagnetic-warfare-is-here
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CNN running dog busted fronting for Hillary on: July 03, 2015, 03:13:48 PM
http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/07/01/cnns-paul-begala-asked-state-dept-for-talking-points-on-hillary-clintons-performance-as-sec-of-state/
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why July 4th matters on: July 03, 2015, 03:04:08 PM
http://www.stephenwbrowne.com/2008/06/happy-4th-of-july/
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ten ways Iran has guttted deal on: July 03, 2015, 11:49:11 AM
http://www.clarionproject.org/analysis/10-ways-iran-has-gutted-nuclear-deal#
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cost of Hep C drug could be budget buster. on: July 03, 2015, 11:41:28 AM
This source frequently hyperventilates, so read with care; however the larger point remains

http://www.capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/hepatitis-drug-could-cost-california-taxpayers-5-billion-a-year-not-a-typo/
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / $135K fine for failure to bake a gay cake on: July 03, 2015, 11:16:24 AM
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/07/02/owners-of-oregon-bakery-that-refused-to-bake-wedding-cake-for-same-sex-couple-fined-135000/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Firewire_Morning_Test&utm_campaign=Firewire%20Morning%20Edition%20Recurring%20v2%202015-07-03 
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Why July 4th matters on: July 03, 2015, 11:12:59 AM
"But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations. ... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution." —John Adams (1813)
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: July 03, 2015, 11:03:06 AM
BTW,  it should be "You're a Bush fan?"  cheesy
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / John Adams: The meaning of the American Revolution 1813 on: July 03, 2015, 11:02:01 AM
"But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations. ... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution." —John Adams (1813)
240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Physics & Mathematics on: July 03, 2015, 11:01:21 AM
A bit over my head, but provokes a sense of wonder nonetheless.
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Joe Biden leaning towards running on: July 03, 2015, 12:10:43 AM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/1/joe-biden-likely-to-join-2016-white-house-race-nex/
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Wilson, 1791 on Judges on: July 02, 2015, 10:16:27 PM
"Every prudent and cautious judge ... will remember, that his duty and his business is, not to make the law, but to interpret and apply it." —James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Our First Lady on: July 02, 2015, 10:11:37 PM
http://www.dineshdsouza.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MichelleObamaThesis.pdf
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: July 02, 2015, 09:53:31 PM
It would appear he is going to stir things up plenty , , ,
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: July 02, 2015, 09:52:31 PM
One does not have to be a fan to find this interesting IMHO.
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: July 02, 2015, 04:16:59 PM
It Takes a True Detective to Understand California’s High-Speed Rail Plans

Enjoy the Independence Day weekend, folks! NR offices are closed Friday, so this is the last Jolt of the week.
 
The best part of the new season of True Detective on HBO is that one of the major plot points is sleazy, mob-connected businessmen talking about federal funding for California’s high-speed rail project as a giant way to line their pockets.

Vince Vaughn plays a ruthless, ambitious mob-connected businessman who yearns to be a legitimate, respected mogul. In the opening episode, he’s at a giant party-unveiling for the project. One of his partners, a corrupt official in the fictional city of Vinci, California, just outside Los Angeles, hasn’t arrived on the meeting -- on account of his recent murder -- and Vaughn’s character sums up the pending deal for the guests:

Our city manager Ben Caspere was going to be here to explain this, but I suppose I can approximate the information.

So everybody knows Proposition 1 has passed.

And next year construction will start on a $68 billion high-speed rail up Central California.

An undeveloped valley adjacent to the rail and the coastal highway has been purchased by several holding companies anticipating a commercial development that will be in line for hundreds of millions in federal grants.

And the feds have guaranteed cost overages.

 
Have we seen ever seen a movie or television show bad guy whose plans involve a high-speed rail project before? Can you believe that HBO is portraying Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature legacy project in such a negative light?

Later, in a meeting with a more menacing, Eastern European gangster, Vaughn’s character declares,

[The city of] Vinci tapped fed money from the subway line, and the same thing will happen on a much, much bigger scale with the rail corridor. Owned by our holding companies.

In real life, the first segment of the initial rail line, running from Madera to Bakersfield, will cost $6 billion, consisting of $3.3 billion in federal funding and $2.6 billion in Proposition 1A bond proceeds. The California High-Speed Rail Authority declares, “Development of the [initial operating system] will be funded through government sources, while private-sector capital will fund future construction segments once the system is generating positive cash flow.”

In June 2013, the California High-Speed Rail Authority awarded the first contract -- nearly $1 billion. Construction began in the middle of last month.
Some California Republicans and a few Democrats are attempting to stop the project from going any further, arguing it has changed completely from its initial proposal and there’s no reason to expect anything other than more delays, cost overruns, and legal fights:

State Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, has introduced bipartisan legislation to allow California voters to reconsider the state's controversial high-speed rail project.
Vidak's measure would allow voters to weigh in on whether they want to continue funding the $68 billion project. It would also forbid any more spending on the project until a vote on June 6, 2016. The bill would redirect the unspent money toward road repair and construction.

Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, is co-sponsoring the bill.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority's pursuit of eminent domain land takings on the proposed alignment through Kings County has generated strong opposition and lawsuits from local residents and county government.

The authority is trying to drum up interest from the private sector for the project, but has so far failed to get private investment to help make up a financing shortfall of tens of billions of dollars.

And Republicans in Congress are making an attempt as well:

Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, of Turlock, has tried twice before to defund high-speed rail with an amendment, but he's not giving up.
On Tuesday night Denham spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives and declared, “I'm here one more year offering an amendment to end this incredible waste of taxpayer dollars.”

Denham's amendment forces the California High Speed Rail Authority to prove it can independently match nearly $3 billion in federal funds -- or potentially lose that money.
On Wednesday Denham said he doesn't believe that California can afford it.

“We are $87 billion short,' Denham said. “The governor's not proposing $87 billion. The president's not proposing $87 billion. So, we're really leaving the state of California at risk.”

Records show the project has spent nearly $900 million so far.

The city in the show, Vinci, appears to be inspired by real-life Vernon, California:

Only 92 people live in Vernon. There are no parks, schools, libraries, health clinics or grocery stores. The only four restaurants close by 4 p.m. By sundown the 44,000 workers who commute here have all fled the stench.

Vernon’s leaders like it that way. California’s tiniest city, if you want to call it a city, is one of the nation’s most lasting and efficient political machines, run almost entirely for the benefit of a handful of rarely opposed, extremely well-paid politicians. Vernon should have been subsumed long ago into the surrounding city of L.A, but its independence is a strange and stark example of how a democracy can become a dynasty.

The bespectacled Leonis C. Malburg, 77, whose grandfather founded Vernon in 1905, has been mayor for 33 years. Bruce Malkenhorst, 71, was for 32 years the city administrator as well as clerk, finance director, treasurer, redevelopment agency secretary and chief executive of the utility Vernon Light & Power. The city was reportedly paying him $600,000 a year, more than twice what L.A.’s mayor earns, until he resigned all posts unexpectedly and without public announcement in 2005. By most accounts Malkenhorst still pulls the strings. His appointed successor is his 42-year-old son, Bruce Jr.

Theirs is a benign dictatorship. Who would run against them? Outsiders hoping to move into town are denied housing permits and Vernon’s 32 houses and apartments are owned by the city and leased to its employees for as little as $150 per month.

What’s more, there were no contested elections in Vernon from 1984 to 2006.

On the show, the sleazy mayor of Vinci has a picture of himself with President George W. Bush in the background. In real life Vernon, 69 percent of the city’s voters are registered Democrat, 28 percent Republican. And you probably saw this coming:

A slick two-minute advertisement promoting Vernon as a bastion of blue-collar employment will be shown in theaters in working-class neighborhoods with the opening of a new movie, “Battle: Los Angeles.” The commercial follows a $65,000-a-week television advertising campaign that began last week. The ads were produced by Chris Lehane, a notoriously tough operative who worked as a senior adviser to Al Gore, and who is at the center of this campaign.
 
247  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 85% of Greeks believe Jews have too much power on: July 02, 2015, 04:06:15 PM
http://freebeacon.com/issues/poll-85-of-greeks-believe-the-jews-have-too-much-power-over-global-finance/
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama blocking heavy arms to the Kurds on: July 02, 2015, 12:13:12 PM


http://pamelageller.com/2015/07/obama-blocks-plan-by-allies-to-fight-isis-islamic-state.html/
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Who could have seen this coming? Cuba demands return of Guantanamo on: July 01, 2015, 08:54:33 PM
second post

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/07/01/cuba-demands-return-of-guantanamo-end-of-us-tv-broadcasts-in-return-for-diplomacy/
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / DiBlasio tries to bullly Trump on: July 01, 2015, 08:40:26 PM
http://www.newsday.com/news/new-york/donald-trump-s-business-relationships-with-new-york-city-under-review-administration-says-1.10599748
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 676
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!